Lithographed Signatures of the Members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Who Met at Cambridge June M.DCCC.XXXIII.
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With a Report of the Proceedings at the Public Meetings During the Week; And an Alphabetical List of the Members. Cambridge: Printed at the Pitt Press by John Smith 1833. 4to. Orig. half calf (rubbed) over cloth boards with titling label to spine. (ii iii i 125 i pp.). with 61 lithographed sheets of signatures rectos only. The foundation of the British Association resulted from the dissatisfaction with the position of science and of scientists in Great Britain in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Charles Babbage had attended the Berlin meeting of the Oken-founded Deutsche Naturforscher Versammlung in 1828 subsequently publishing his 'Reflexions on the Decline of Science in England' in 1830; this had been reviewed by David Brewster who had taken that opportunity himself to elaborate upon the meagre attention given to science in the United Kingdom. The first meeting still somewhat informal was held in York in 1831 - the model was that of the German Versammlung. By the time of the third Cambridge meeting in 1833 the organisation was in place and the meetings had attracted much support with the scientific community though not unmoderated by opposition. J. G. Lockhart editor of the Quarterly Review incidentally the journal in which Brewster first reviewed Babbage's above-mentioned book wrote to Murchison before the inaugural meeting - 'I presume you are going to the colt-show at York. Don't make a fool of yourself among these twaddlers.' Even Dickens ridiculed the early meetings in a series of articles for Bentley's Miscellany during 1837-1839 later collected as the Mudfog Papers - in these he described the meetings of the Mudfog Association for the Advancement of Everything attended by Professors Snore Doze and Wheezy.
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